Efficient photocatalytic CO2 N-formylation of amines over Pd/Bi-ZnOx without extra reductant

Peng Bai, Yicheng Zhao*, Yongdan Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Photocatalytic N-formylation of amines with CO2 is a promising strategy to convert CO2 into value-added chemicals sustainably. In this work, Pd-Bi bimetallic modified ZnO enriched in oxygen vacancies is constructed for photocatalytic CO2 formylation of benzylamine at room temperature without any reductants. The Pd and Bi sites reduce the band gap energy of ZnO, promote the separation of the photogenerated charge carriers and enhance the adsorption capacity of CO2. The yield of N-benzylformamide reaches 31.7 mmol g−1 with a selectivity of 85.3 % after 3-hour radiation in N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) solvent. The aldehyde group involved in the formylation of benzylamine is derived from the decomposition of DMF, which is regenerated with the aldehyde group coming from the reduction of CO2. The decomposition-regeneration cycle of DMF solvent enlarges the reaction region, which is beneficial to the activity and selectivity of the formylation process. The synergistic photocatalytic system shows a good universality. This study provides a new approach to high-efficiency CO2 utilization and formamide production.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114551
JournalCatalysis Today
Early online date30 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • CO conversion
  • N-formylation
  • Pd-Bi double site
  • Photocatalysis
  • ZnO


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